UNFORTUNATE COINCIDENCE By the time you swear you're his, Shivering and sighing, And he vows his passion is Infinite, undying--- Lady, make a note of this: One of you is lying. OBSERVATION If I don't drive around the park, I'm pretty sure to make my mark. If I'm in bed each night by ten, I may get back my looks again. If I abstain from fun and such, I'll probably amount to much; But I shall stay the way I am, Because I do not give a damn. INTERIOR Her mind lives in a quiet room, A narrow room, and tall, With pretty lamps to quench the gloom And mottoes on the wall. There all the things are waxen neat And set in decorous lines; And there are posies, round and sweet, And little, straightened vines. Her mind lives tidily, apart From cold and noise and pain, And bolts the door against her heart, Out wailing in the rain. LIGHT OF LOVE Joy stayed with me a night---- Young and free and fair---- And in the morning light He left me there. Then Sorrow came to stay, And lay upon my breast; He walked with me in the day, And knew me best. I'll never be a bride, Nor yet celibate, So I'm living now with Pride---- A cold bedmate. He must not hear nor see, Nor could he forgive That Sorrow still visits me Each day I live. TO A MUCH TOO UNFORTUNATE LADY He will love you presently If you be the way you be. Send your heart a-skittering, He will stoop, and lift the thing. Be your dreams as thread, to tease Into patterns he shall please. Let him see your passion is Ever tenderer than his… Go and bless your star above, Thus you are, and thus is Love. He will leave you white with woe, If you go the way you go. If your dreams were thread to weave, He will pluck them from his sleeve. If your heart had come to rest, He will flick it from his breast. Tender though the love he bore, You had loved a little more… Lady, go and curse your star, Thus Love is, and thus you are. PROPHETIC SOUL Because your eyes are slant and slow, Because your hair is sweet to touch, My heart is high again; but oh, I doubt if this will get me much. INDIAN SUMMER In youth, it was a way I had To do my best to please, And change, with every passing lad, To suit his theories. But now I know the things I know, And do the things I do; And if you do not like me so, To hell, my love, with you! ROUNDEL She's passing fair; but so demure is she, So quiet is her gown, so smooth her hair, That few there are who note her and agree She's passing fair. Yet when was ever beauty held more rare Than simple heart and maiden modesty? What fostered charms with virtue could compare? Alas, no lover ever stops to see; The best that she is offered is the air. Yet--- if the passing mark is minus D--- She's passing fair. A CERTAIN LADY Oh, I can smile for you, and tilt my head, And drink your rushing words with eager lips, And paint my mouth for you a fragrant red, And trace your brows with tutored finger-tips. When you rehearse your list of loves to me, Oh, I can laugh and marvel, rapturous-eyed. And you can laugh back, nor can you ever see The thousand little deaths my heart has died. And you believe, so well I know my part, That I am gay as morning, light as snow, And all the straining things within my heart You'll never know. Oh, I can laugh and listen, when we meet, And you bring tales of fresh adventurings--- Of ladies delicately indiscreet, Of lingering hands, and gently whispered things. And you are pleased with me, and strive anew To sing me sagas of your late delights. Thus do you want me--- marveling, gay, and true--- Nor do you see my staring eyes of nights. And when, in search of novelty, you stray, Oh, I can kiss you blithely as you go… And what goes on, my love, while you're away, You'll never know. INSCRIPTION FOR THE CEILING OF A BEDROOM Daily dawns another day; I must up, to make my way. Though I dress and drink and eat, Move my fingers and my feet, Learn a little, here and there, Weep and laugh and sweat and swear, hear a song, or watch a stage, Leave some words upon a page, Claim a foe, or hail a friend--- Bed awaits me at the end. Though I go in pride and strength, I'll come back to bed at length. Though I walk in blinded woe, Back to bed I'm bound to go. High my heart, or bowed my head, All my days but lead to bed. Up, and out, and on; and then Ever back to bed again, Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall---- I'm a fool to rise at all! FULFILLMENT For this my mother wrapped me warm, And called me home against the storm, And coaxed my infant nights to quiet, And gave me roughage in my diet, And tucked me in my bed at eight, And clipped my hair, and marked my weight, And watched me as I sat and stood: That I might grow to womanhood To hear a whistle and drop my wits And break my heart to clattering bits.
Edgar Allan PoeA DREAM WITHIN A DREAM Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now, Thus much let me avow----- You are not wrong, who deem That my days have been a dream; Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream. I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand---- How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep---- while I weep! O God! can I not grasp Them with a tighter clasp? O God! can I not save One from the pitiless wave? Is all that we see or seem But a dream within a dream? ALONE From childhood's hour I have not been As others were---- I have not seen As others saw---- I could not bring My passions from a common spring. From the same source I have not taken My sorrow; I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone; And all I lov'd, I lov'd alone. Then---- in my childhood---- in the dawn Of a most stormy life---- was drawn From ev'ry depth of good and ill The mystery which binds me still: From the torrent or the fountain, From the red cliff of the mountain, From the sun that 'round me roll'd In its autumn tint of gold---- From the lightning in the sky As it pass'd me flying by---- From the thunder and the storm, And the cloud that took the form (When the rest of Heaven was blue) Of a demon in my view. EVENING STAR 'Twas noontide of summer, And midtime of night And stars, in their orbits, Shone pale, through the light Of the brighter, cold moon. 'Mid planets her slaves, Herself in the Heavens, Her beam on the waves. I gazed awhile On her cold smile; Too cold--- too cold for me--- There passed, as a shroud, A fleecy cloud, And I turned away to thee, Proud Evening Star, In thy glory afar And dearer thy beam shall be; For joy to my heart Is the proud part Thou bearest in Heaven at night, And more I admire Thy distant fire, Than that colder, lowly light. TO --------- I heed not that my earthly lot Hath little of earth in it ---- That years of love have been forgot In the hatred of a minute: ---- I mourn not that the desolate Are happier, sweet, than I, But that you sorrow for my fate Who am a passer by. THE LAKE ---- TO ----- In spring of youth it was my lot To haunt of the wide world a spot The which I could not love the less ---- So lovely was the loneliness Of a wild lake, with black rock bound, And the tall pines that towered around. But when the Night had thrown her pall Upon that spot, as upon all, And the mystic wind went by Murmuring in melody ---- Then --- ah! then I would awake To the terror of the lone lake. Yet that terror was not fright, But a tremulous delight ---- A feeling not the jewelled mine Could teach or bribe me to define---- Nor Love ---- although the Love were thine. Death was in that poisonous wave, And in its gulf a fitting grave For him who thence could solace bring To his lone imagining ---- Whose solitary soul could make An Eden of that dim lake DREAMS Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream! My spirit not awak'ning till the beam Of an Eternity should bring the morrow. Yes! though that long dream were of hopeless sorrow, 'T were better than the cold reality Of waking life, to him whose heart must be, And hath been still, upon the lovely earth, A chaos of deep passion, from his birth. But should it be ---- that dream eternally Continuing ---- as dreams have been to me In my young boyhood ---- should it thus be giv'n, 'T were folly still to hope for higher Heav'n. For I have revell'd, when the sun was bright I' the summer sky, in dreams of living light And loveliness, ---- have left my very heart In climes of mine imagining, apart From mine own home, with beings that have been Of mine own thought ---- what more could I have seen? 'T was once - and only once - and the wild hour From my remembrance shall not pass --- some pow'r Or spell had bound me ---- 't was the chilly wind Came o'er me in the night, and left behind Its image on my spirit - or the moon Shone on my slumbers in her lofty noon Too coldly --- or the stars --- howe'er it was, That dream was as that night-wind --- let it pass. I have been happy, though [but] in a dream. I have been happy --- and I love the theme: Dreams! in their vivid coloring of life, As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife Of semblance with reality which brings To the delirious eye, more lovely things Of Paradise and Love --- and all our own! Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known. THE CONQUEROR WORM Lo! 'tis a gala night Within the lonesome latter years! An angel throng, bewinged, bedight in veils, and drowned in tears, Sit in a theatre, to see A play of hopes and fears, While the orchestra breathes fitfully The music of the spheres. Mimes, in the form of God on high, Mutter and mumble low, And hither and thither fly ---- Mere puppets they, who come and go At bidding of vast formless things That shift the scenery to and fro, Flapping from out their condor wings Invisible Wo! That motley drama --- oh, be sure It shall not be forgot! With its Phantom chased for evermore By a crowd that seize it not, Through a circle that ever returneth in To the self-same spot, And much of Madness, and more of Sin And Horror the soul of the plot. But see, amid the mimic rout, A crawling shape intrude! A blood-red thing that writhes from out The scenic solitude! It writhes! --- it writhes! with mortal pangs The mimes become its food, And seraphs sob at vermin fangs In human gore imbued. Out --- out are the lights --- out all! And, over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall, Comes down with the rush of a storm, While the angels, all pallid and wan, Uprising, unveiling, affirm That the play is the tragedy, "Man," And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.
Sylvia PlathDIRGE FOR A JOKER Always in the middle of a kiss Came the profane stimulus to cough; Always from the pulpit during service Leaned the devil prompting you to laugh. Behind mock-ceremony of your grief Lurked the burlesque instinct of the ham; You never altered your amused belief That life was a mere monumental sham. From the comic accident of birth To the final grotesque joke of death Your malady of sacrilegious mirth Spread gay contagion with each clever breath. Now you must play the straight man for a term And tolerate the humor of the worm. SONNET: TO TIME Today we move in jade and cease with garnet Amid the ticking jeweled clocks that mark Our years. Death comes in a casual steel car, yet We vaunt our days in neon and scorn the dark. But outside the diabolic steel of this Most plastic-windowed city, I can hear The lone wind raving in the gutter, his Voice crying exclusion in my ear. So cry for the pagan girl left picking olives Beside a sunblue sea, and mourn the flagon Raised to toast a thousand kings, for all gives Sorrow; weep for the legendary dragon. Time is a great machine of iron bars That drains eternally the milk of stars.
Ben GrieserA SPRING DAWN A bright blue sky, A warming sun, A cooling breeze. Beautiful, A dawn in spring. In times of dark, Or times of cold, I long to see This dawn in spring. The birds sing sweet, Bright flowers bloom, The trees sprout leaves. The air is thick With rains of spring. SLEEP A spider it seems, has woven a web quite gently across my brain. LIFE Drink deep From the cup of life. Before you reach The very last drop You shall die. RIGOR POETIS Pardon me, m'lady, Could you tarry here a while So that I might fall in love With you? Beg your pardon, sir, But could you spare the time For me to profess The depth of my hate For you? Do you have a moment, child, To do something cute So that I might say How sweet and pure You are?
Various PoetsYOU WANT IT, YOU GOT IT, YOU GET IT, YOU KEEP IT Anger? You say you want anger? Anger is the eternity between you and me, When we are only two feet apart. Anger is needing to be closer And being pushed away. Frustration? You say you want frustration? Frustration is chasing you around a circle, Yet somehow hitting corners. Frustration is wrapping my arms around you And feeling your fear. But you'd never tell me about it. Joy? You say you want sheer joy? Joy is seeing only your eyes When you talk to me. Joy is hearing music When no one is around but you. And caring? You want caring? Caring is the smile you give a lonely person, Even when you're all alone. Caring is what costs too much Yet you give it away like wildfloweres. I'll keep those flowers forever. Now that you got it, you can't give it back… Not anger, Not frustration, Not joy, Not caring. Just keep it, won't you? Because you just can't give it back. I could take it from you- But you won't let it go. So just keep it. I give up. -GerRee Hinshaw